Butchulla artist shares culture at annual Christmas fair
BUTCHULLA artist Karen Hall loves to paint but it's sharing the story of her culture through her artwork that she is most passionate about.
Displaying and selling her works at events like this weekend's Hervey Bay Crafters Christmas Craft Fair allows Ms Hall to share the Butchulla culture and answer any questions.
She will have about 40 pieces of indigenous contemporary art on show from her Kutcha Art collection.
"A lot of what I like to do is being in a position to share culture and talk to people," Ms Hall said.
"Because I have an educational background it allows people to open up a bit more and ask questions.
"It clarifies who I am, as in, yes, this is Butchulla country and what is Butchulla."
Ms Hall said sharing the importance of why she paints contemporary indigenous art rather than traditional was always a hot topic.
With traditional art, she said, if you're looking at strong cultural areas like the West Australian Central Desert, those stories and paintings have been handed down from generation to generation.
"Those particular stories and symbols are actually owned by those families or that person painting that," Ms Hall said.
"Someone like us, being on Butchulla land, we were segregated and moved off land so much and shifted around that our connections to our traditional stories have been really mixed up, like a jigsaw.
"So I've had no one that's been able to hand down to me anything specific that is Butchulla.
"So I take on that feeling of just knowing I am Aboriginal and I am painting things that I know sometimes I have very strong spiritual connections with."
Guests can also watch Ms Hall paint on both days.
"I can't just sit and do nothing. I'm always working on something," she said.
A range of other talents from the Hervey Bay Crafters will be on display at the group's 22nd annual fair.
Organiser Sheila Dilworth believes the high quality of hand-crafted items on offer is what sets the event apart from any other.
Children will be delighted to find there will be special reindeer food for sale.
"Everyone is so proud of what they do and it shows in their crafts and products," Ms Dilworth said.
"You will get a unique hand-crafted present - none of these commercialised things - and it will be a one-off.
"We have a wonderful show of 100% locally hand-crafted goods, with lots to choose from."
There are also some top raffles up for grabs during the two-day event, with proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Fraser Community.
If you buy anything from any stall, you will get an entry into the customer prize draw, with one prize drawn each day.
The event will be held at the Hervey Bay RSL, Torquay Rd, Pialba, this Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am-3pm. Entry is free.